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Oct 29, 2012

From the editor's desk :-

Dear Konkani music lover,

The month of October 2012 need to be remembered and should be written as 'Golden Month' of the year 2012 in 'Konkan Calender', because of an exciting and melodious event which took place in Doha-Qatar which made all the Konkans residing in the entire Middle-East proud.  Yes, I am talking about the hugely successful and most popular Konkani reality show - Gulf Voice of Mangalore (GVOM-3) organized by the Mangalore Cultural Association (MCA), Qatar.  Whilst I applaud their hard work and professionalism in organizing such a mammoth event, on behalf of Do..Re..Me..Fa.. I wish to congratulate the winners - Reena D'Souza from Oman and Orson D'Souza from Kuwait, for their stupendous performance.  Although I could not be physically present at the venue, sitting in Canada I enjoyed every bit of watching the live coverage on our esteemed web portal Daijiworld.com.

Now, let me take you to my music world.  In my routine hunt for a superstar to present to you in this exclusive music column, I found yet another magnificent star!  She is one of the greatest legends of Konkani stage who blossomed under the Father of Konkani Music Konkan Kogull Amar Wilfy Rebimbus.  Who can ever forget those immortal Konkani hits like 'Patricia', 'Dolo Modilo', 'Mollbar chondrem udela', 'Jayanthi Jayantha', 'Yore Moga', 'Novro Mello Ghatagar', 'Voilya Molbar', 'Sounsar Bhounthincho', 'Chilli Pilli Suchnyano', 'Poti Tho Yetolo', 'Kodyalchea Suthuranth', Lakh Neketram',  all-time hit 'Cavllo'  and many more.  The superstar whom I am talking about known for her sweetest voice, the Princess of Konkani Music,  is none other than one and only Babitha D'Sa. 

As I present to you this sweet music chord… I convey my special thanks to Florine Roche for arranging this profile.   I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy listening to one of the melodious chords of Do..Re..Me..Fa..   I'm highly indebted to you for your generous support and encouragement.  Let's meet next month, same column and same site.  Until then, bye!

Yours in Do..Re..Me..Fa..,

Gerry D'Mello, Bendur

The Princess of Konkani Music
Babitha  D’Sa

Zorine Gratia D’Sa- the name of this female Konkani singer may be unfamiliar to most people.   Known to all by her pet name,  Babitha D’Sa has clamped her position as a singer with the irresistible charm of her voice and her down-to-earth personality.  Who can forget her luxurious voice in the innumerous duets she has rendered along with Prem Lobo and for leaving an indelible mark as a singer?  Despite not being an active singer in the last one decade Babitha has retained her position as a singer loved and respected by her Konkani music fans.  She is another star who was identified, nurtured and brought to the fore in the music field by Konkani Kogul Amar Wilfy Rebimbus. 

Early Life

Born as Zorine Gratia Sequeira in Jeppu Parish (14-01-1959)  Babitha as she was known at home,  is one among the 7 children born to late Quintine and late Sylvia Sequeira.  She had her High Schol education St Gerosa High School and followed it up with a Secretarial Course.   Her mother Sylvia was a choir singer and has even sung with Meena in the good-old famous song “Zuvanna”.   Her older brother Lancy was also an active church choir member and naturally Babitha grew up in a musically inclined environment.  As expected Babitha competed in various inter-parishes singing competitions organized by Konkani Natak Sabha and attracted attention by bagging prizes.

Babitha did not have any formal training in singing.  She had joined for guitar classes for sometime but could not sustain the interest for long due to some unavoidable circumstances.  Nevertheless the music world beckoned her at a young age and she seemed destined to make a mark it.  She recalls how she had gone to Wilfy Nite in 1971 held at Town Hall when she was hardly 12.  “I went alone all the way to the Town Hall walking from home but came back crying because I did not get the ticket for the show”, she reminisces.   













Getting into Wilfy’s Troupe

Brother Lancy was already a member of United Youngsters of Wilfy which easily paved the way for Babitha’s entry into the United Youngsters group.  Wilfy who possessed the idoneous spirit of identifying talent and nurturing it took Babitha under his tutelage and gave her an opportunity to sing in his troupe in 1974 when she was barely 15.   It was a duet song “Voylya Molbar” with Prem Lobo and soon the song became a sensational romantic song and Prem-Babitha became a household name.   It was this very first duet with Prem that gave a strong edifice for the duet pair  of  Prem-Babitha which  went on to  create a flutter among  Konkani music lovers  with some of their memorable super hit songs  climbing  up the popularity chart. 
In 1979 she got married to Leslie D’Sa who was also a musician (guitarist) and after marriage the couple settled in Valencia Parish for 11 years before moving to Cascia Parish.  Marriage and motherhood did not come in the way of her music performances in Wilfy’s troupe.  Rather with the active support of her husband Babitha proved her talent as a singer of extraordinary standing.  Managing household duties, recording for CD’s and singing in Wilfy Nites was quite hectic but she says “she loved every fulfilling moment and the challenge that came with it”.

Achievements

She remembers that in 1980 when she was in the last stages of pregnancy with her first child she had to go to Manipal for Wilfy’s  CD recording scheduled at the residence of Ganesh Pai.  After staying in Manipal for a week for the recording she had come back and within two days she had given birth to her daughter Lavita.  “It was quite hectic considering that I was in the last stage of pregnancy.  Now I just wonder how I was able to do that.  The support of Wilfy and Meena and other members of the troupe gave me necessary strength and courage”, Babitha recalls.

In Konkani music field Prem-Babitha pair was well established.   The pair had gained popularity and some of their duet songs had reached the zenith of popularity.  Songs like “molbar Chandrem Udela”, “Kodyalchya Suthuranth”, “Kori”,  “Sheranth ek  Ghar”  “Kavlo Yevun Basla”, “Lakh Nekethran” are some of the duet songs that have been immortalized by Prem-Babitha pair during Wilfy Nites and later in the CD’s.  Babitha was also given to sing a song “kalzanth kaliz bandla”  with Wilfy in the  drama  “Thisri Cheet” and also a song in the movie “Mog ani Moipas”.   

Babitha has sung in 33 CD’s of Wilfy Rebimbus and in a few CD’s of Stany Mendonca and Claud Bendur.  She has sung devotional songs in another 6 CD’s of Wilfy, Fr Walter Albuquerque, Fr Rony Serrao.   Babitha has also sung a duet song with Prem for Konkani film “Bogsane”.  She has also acted in the musical drama “Ali Baba and 40 Chors”. In 1977, HMV the giant music company had recorded 2 of her songs for their disc. 

Awards and Recognitions

Recently KarnatakaKonkaniSahithyaAcademy honoured her in recognition of her contributions to Konkani music.  In 1995 Konkan Kogul Wilfy and Meena had hounoured her with gold medal for her long standing contribution to Konkani music and for her association with Wilfy’s Troupe United Youngsters. 

Babitha is happy in whatever little way she has been able to serve Konkani language through Konkani songs.  Like every parent, she had expected her children Lavita or Lohit would follow in her footsteps.  Though her children have chartered their own course of life Babitha is least perturbed.  “Children have their own interests and have to chalk out their own life.  I did not want them to sacrifice their interests for my sake”, she reasons. 

Interview

Babitha has been a public performer in Wilfy Nites held in India, Kuwait, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Bahrain and Doha for almost 22 years.  She comes across as a shy and unassuming person having no airs about her name and fame.

Prem and Babitha has been one of the hit pairs of Konkani music and that has given them a permanent place in the heart of Konkani music lovers.  The pair was such a hit that many people even mistook Prem and Babitha to be a husband-wife team.  Both Prem and Babitha and the United Youngsters team used to have a hearty laugh when people used to address them as a ‘couple’. 

Babitha becomes nostalgic recalling some of the hilarious incidents while performing at the various shows and nites.  She recalls a particular incident when Prem had she had to perform the ‘honeymoon song’ on stage.  Both Prem and Babitha had come dressed up as bridegroom and bride to the stage with usual pomp.    It is a customs at Wilfy Nites that the MC is supposed to keep the lyrics of the song on the mike desk.  Unfortunately for them, the copy of the song had slipped out of the mike desk to get under the wooden stage without anybody noticing it.  Needless to say it was impossible to retrieve it.  Once the song began both Prem and Babitha who knew only the first   para could not continue in the absence of lyrics had to beat a hasty retreat.  “It was quite embarrassing and Wilfy always used to make fun that we went for honeymoon with all the paraphernalia and came back half way”. 

Following the death of her husband Leslie in 2002 Babitha had to give up active singing as she singlehandedly had to shoulder the responsibility of bringing up her children and also manage the family business run by her husband.  Babitha has shown extraordinary courage in trying circumstances as she has been running the 60 year old timber depot D’Sa – D’Souza & Co at Nandigudda   after the demise of her husband.  
Now that both her children are settled Babitha lives all alone and carries on the family business with the help of a trusted manager. She is grateful the Rebimbus family for giving a fillip to her talent and making her what she is. Having fulfilled most of her ambitions she says “there is nothing to be achieved.  I regret not being able to sing in Wilfy Nites since 2002 as it demands a grueling schedule, which I am unable to accommodate”.  Her only hope is that her grandson Jake might make a name in Konkani music field in the days to come. 

In conclusion

The Konkani music sensation Babitha D'Sa is truly the Princess of Konkani music.   Her devoted fans wish that her melodious voice should bring melodious numbers to their musical ears.  One hopes Babitha will not disappoint her fans!

 
Comments on this article
Roshni Dsouza Correa, Abu DhabiSaturday, November 10, 2012
Congratulations Babitha Aunty!!! I really love to hear your songs.. I also thank you for teaching me several songs, Since my childhood.. which I still remember.. Wishing you all the very best to continue your singing.
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Lawrence Sequeira, Pompei PU CollegeFriday, November 09, 2012
Hearty Congratulation .......
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vincent fernandes-mogachi lahran, cascia-sharjahWednesday, November 07, 2012
Congratulations Bai Babitha. Well deserved honor for you through Do Re Mi Fa for you hard work and dedication. Thanks to Gerry and his team for this profile.
wishes from
mogachi lahran vincent
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Apolinaris D'Souza, Valencia/MuscatSunday, November 04, 2012
Congratulations Bai Babitha. Well deserved honor for you through Do Re Mi Fa for you hard work and dedication. Thanks to Gerry and his team for this profile.
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Stephen, Bangalore/BahrainSaturday, November 03, 2012
Thanks Babitha - Dolo Modilo - fast paced and yet enchanting song. Thanks Babitha and GOD Bless. PS I sincerely hope you will compose/sing more songs for your heart.
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Fr Romeo Lewis, PerampallyThursday, November 01, 2012
Congratulation dear Babitha. May God bless you.
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alwyn dsouza, bahrainThursday, November 01, 2012
congratulation . great singer.
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Rochelle tauro, MANGALOREThursday, November 01, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS AUNTY, may u be blessed more and more. We are very proud of you.
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ujwal, mangaloreWednesday, October 31, 2012
Thanks Gerry for the good work you are doing.God Bless.Babitha was a favourite singer of ours.God Bless her too for the talent she is and the songs sang for the Konkani people.
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Preetha, MangaloreWednesday, October 31, 2012
Appreciate do.re.me.fa. for printing this article on our very dear Babitha Aunty. Our favourite aunty. She will always have a special place in our hearts.
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CGS, MangaloreWednesday, October 31, 2012
Congrats and Best wishes to Babita!
Thanks to Gerry D'Mello, the Editor of Do Re Mi Fa.....!
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Wilfred J Lewis, Matpady-Brahmavar/ Manhattan-New YorkUSAWednesday, October 31, 2012
Babita has been an excellent singer since more than three decades. Her classic performance at Brahmavar Holy Family Church grounds in 1976 with "Wilfy-Night" group singing "Kavlo Yevun Basla" and "Navm Moje Patricia" have been all time favourite for me. Congratulations Mrs. Babita D' Sa. Best wishes for great years ahead...
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James/Shobha Mendonca., Dubai/Vamanjoor Padav.Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Dear Babitha,congratulations. Nice to read about your achievements. We really like your voice and singing.All the best.God bless you and your family.
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Fr. Vincent V. Menezes, CasciaTuesday, October 30, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS AND FELICITATIONS to you Babitha D'Sa. It is credit to Cascia Parish too. May you be blessed more and more by Jesus through the intercession of St. Rita. All the best.
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Fr Stephen D'Souza, Shirva-BelgiumTuesday, October 30, 2012
Congratulations dear Babita on this your achievements. Nice to read about you on Do Re Mi Fa. May God bless you.
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L N Rego, BendurTuesday, October 30, 2012
Babitha you are one of the great singers of our time. I congratulate Gerry for coming up with this lovely Write up and Daiji for publishing this. I wonder why people mention 'finally some one thought about her'do you ever think how the writer feels about it?.
No one side lines any singer that too in Konkani. Certain situations and personal reasons keeps some talents away from performing. So understand this and appreciate the good work.
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Eddie Sequeira, Mangalore/DohaTuesday, October 30, 2012
Was happy to see Babitha, one of my favourite Konkani singer on Do..Re..Me..Fa.... She has a unique voice and singing from her heart she made all her songs 'special'. Dear Babitha please do continue singing, because your presence used to light up the stage. Hope to see you on stage for the '250th Wilfy Nite'
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Julian D'Cunha, Doha / MangaloreTuesday, October 30, 2012
Congratulations to Babitha. Appriciated to Do..Re..Me..Fa..for this beautiful article of Sequeira / D'Sa family.
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Arnold Rodriguez, MangaloreTuesday, October 30, 2012
All Hail dearest Aunty Babitha !! Throughout all these years, your exemplary courage & at the same time your pristine humility has been such a sensational source of inspiration to all of us. Finally You are being recognized at the dizzy heights of the International stage as the grand Genius that we have always known & loved you to be. You are simply one of a kind !
God Bless You always dearest Aunty & may You continue to graciously & gracefully inspire us all...
Love always - Arnold & Genevive.
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Leo D'Souza,Mangalore, Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Nice article on a well deserving singer, Jerry. Please send me your email id - my email id is leonjdsouza@gmail.com
Liyab
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Nancy Milar, MangaloreTuesday, October 30, 2012
Congratulations Babitha, nice to see you on Do-re-mi-fa
You are that, pull on and you will
Praise god for singers like you.
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stany and family, Mangalore,UKTuesday, October 30, 2012
Hi Babita,
Nice to see you in Do RE Me Fa....congratulation and wish you good luck...good health.
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Lohit Agnes Lavita Vinod Jake n the little one, Mangalore/BangaloreMonday, October 29, 2012
Congratulations to our dearest mummy from all of us. We have always been so proud of you. A very well written article describing her life n Career. Love from all of us.


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Baby John, KeralaMonday, October 29, 2012
Congratulations dear Babitha for being felicitated as "The Princess Of Konkani Music" in Do..Re..Me..Fa..
May Lord Jesus bless you and your voice so that you may sing many more beautiful songs.......

Regards,
baby John
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vivian d almeida, mangaloreMonday, October 29, 2012
congrats aunty on your tremendous career and all the best for your future as well
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Louis Rita Rodrigues, KuwaitMonday, October 29, 2012
Congratulations dear Babita on this great achievement of yours and may GOD almighty shower his many more choicest blessings of success in your singing career. Thank you once again for giving the honours to Kuwait’s Konkani speaking people of listening to your melodious voice on 21st September 2012 during the GVOM 3 semi-finals. Keep smiling always and continue singing forever.

Love and Wishes – Louis and Rita Rodrigues / Kuwait
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Max and Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore, Houston/DallasMonday, October 29, 2012
Congratulations to Babitha D'Sa for the recognition towards her talents and dedications for singing in the world of Konkany. This is a well deserving Award for Babitha who has given her voice of music thru her quiet, graceful and low profile. We know Babitha very well before she even got married to late Leslie D'Sa who was our neighbour. We know the D'Sa family and their dedication to Timber Business very well.

St. Joseph's Seminary Compound was always blessed with talented people not only in music but also in sports and many other skills. The Jesuits had done a marvellous job in establishing the Jeppoo Workshop and creating so many skillful professions including the Iron & Steel Department, Furniture Department. the Saw Mill and even the Statuary.

Even the Sisters of Charity have contributed a great deal by encouraging needle work and other craftsmanship for young ladies.

The Seminary Band was a Premium Band of Mangalore in the past. The Jeppoo Seminary choir of both men and women combined was of a Signature quality. Even the Sacristan at Jeppoo Church had a voice of "Mohamed Raffie" and was ready to sing his solo song whenever required.

Part of the credit for music, sports and crafts at Jeppoo Seminary also goes to the Italian priests and nuns who brought so much of charm and enthusiasm in the community.

The names such as Rebimbus, Fontes, Goveas, Azvedos, Ozarios, Martins, Borocos, Medinas, Nettos and many others bring back many nostalic memories.

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Reshma Lobo, KuwaitMonday, October 29, 2012
Congratulations Babitha Maam.. U have a beautiful voice and indeed are the princess of Konkani Music. We were really fortunate to hear ur voice again in Kuwait at Gulf Voice of Mangalore Season3 Kuwait semifinals on 21st September 2012. Wishing you all the best and continue singing......
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Wilson Saldanha, Shirthady/ KuwaitMonday, October 29, 2012
It was Babita's come back after 10 years at Gulf Voice of Mangalore Season3 Kuwait semifinals on 21st September 2012. She was not only the judge for the event, she also sung one solo and three duets with Ivan Sequeira and won hearts of packed audience of approximately 1,200. Her solo song can be watched at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEJ0zzOCic4&feature=youtu.be

Daijiworld Editor in Chief Walter Nandalike had appreciated her come back and requested her to continue singing on behalf of Konkani music lovers. Hope she will continue singing for thew sake of her fan followers.
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Ronald dcosta,KCWA-Bhayander, Puttur-BhayandarMonday, October 29, 2012
Abhinandan tumka Babitha D'sa,tumcha kaamak,tumcha sumadhr podank. I thank greatly to Do..Re..Me..Fa.. to identifying melodious singer,keep it up this spirit.All the best to u madam,may god bless a sound mind & sound body at every step,Jai Konkani
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Fr Uday Fernandes, MogarnadMonday, October 29, 2012
Congratulations Babitha baye. Wilfy unclachya C.D ni mudrith zallo thumcho sobhith thalo konkni sangeethgara visronchi nanth. Cascia parishanth ministri ailya velar velar thumi choir practice karunk ani gayan karunk evche ajuni ugdas etha. Thumka bore magtha.
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Roshan Fernandes, Kundapur / Perth, AustraliaMonday, October 29, 2012
This article should have come long back. Never mind - better late than never.

Though we now understand why Babitha stopped singing, we hope she continues to contribute in the field of music despite all the challenges she faces.

Best Wishes to Babitha.
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rupeshdsouza nithyadar nagar, MANGALOREMonday, October 29, 2012
Dear Babitha madam,i Heartly congratulate to you for singing Beautiful songs which was unforgettable....god bless you pleas you have to sing more and more songs ...
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Charles D cunha, I C Colony - BorivliMonday, October 29, 2012
Dear Babita
Congratulations.This day should have come long back.As a singer U have won the hearts of konkani music lovers.I was expecting U to be on the stage for sentimental nite 3 years back.Hope U will be there in 250th Wilfy Nite
which is already announced. Wishing U all the best.Please sing for other composers...and make konkani lovers happy.
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Fr. Pius James OCD, Carmel Hill, MangaloreMonday, October 29, 2012
Dear Babitha,when we think of the younger days of the Rebimbus Group, we cannot miss your name.Congratulations to you. Now that we hear your voice in the Infant Jesus Shrine, may Jesus the Lord bless you all the more and also your children.
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Adrian Gomes, Shirva / KuwaitMonday, October 29, 2012
Congratulation dear Babitha on being high-lightened in the Do..Re..Me..Fa.
Listening to your voice at the GVOM semifinals at Kuwait was unbelievable that after so many years you have still got a stable voice, as you didn't even fall out of pitch measured in Micro levels. Wishing you all the very best to continue your singing.
Warm regards
Adrian Gomes
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